On July 31, Matt Smith and a friend, wanting to take a break from French language study, decided to rent motorcycles for a ride into the mountains around Albertville, France. Both were experienced riding cycles, so they embarked on a day enjoying the beautiful scenery of the French Alps.
And then it happened. The throttle on Matt’s bike malfunctioned, causing Matt to lose control of the bike and crash. His spinal cord was fractured in one place and dislocated in another, resulting in paralysis on his right side. He was airlifted to a hospital in nearby Grenoble where he had two separate surgeries. After recovery from surgery, Matt was transferred to a rehabilitation unit in the same city, for ongoing physical and vocational therapy. There he will remain until he is able to function independently and continue with therapy at home. He is making good progress, and he is also finding opportunity to minister the gospel among staff and patients! We are prayerfully optimistic that Matt will make a full recovery and that the Smith family will be able and ready to transition to life and ministry in Chad in the coming year.
Thank you for your prayers for our missionary families! Like all of us, they face trials. They get sick; they have accidents; life happens in ways they do not expect. But they press on, trusting in God, for the sake of the gospel.
In the words of Christina Smith from a Facebook post on August 19: “Many of you have said, ‘I wish there were more tangible things we could do for you from here (North America).’ Please see this as proof that you are doing a hugely tangible thing when you PRAY!”
Dan Venberg serves the Church of the Lutheran Brethren as Director of Lutheran Brethren International Mission.